GW Q and A
We apologize for the lateness of the post but we just got our Q and A back from our George Washington expert Nkwa Asonye and wanted to post them before the game. Enjoy the insight below as Nkwa did a great job with these.
1. Give fans a scouting report on GW, both sides of the ball…
Like any good team, their defensive prowess paves the way for great offensive tries on the other end. They’ve slipped a bit lately, but the Colonials do a really good job of defending without excessively sending their opponents to the line.
Offensively, I remember the days where opponents would DARE GW to beat them shooting. But between continued improvement from McDonald and Wantanabe, the addition of Cavanaugh, and a fantastic season for Garino? Anyone can get it done on any given night.
2. GW really has a patient offense (305th in poss. length), and values the ball tremendously (56th best TO%), how does their personnel allow this?
In that regard, I think the focus solely goes on Kevin Larsen. Not often can a post player be as much a threat passing as scoring, which means he needs to be involved in nearly every possession. And that takes time.
3. I’ll give you the player, you give me one sentence on each:
Tyler Cavanaugh- Another transfer who makes the Colonials that much better
Kevin Larsen-When he’s physical, you’re in trouble.
Patricio Garino-Before he could only drive; now, he can shoot. Well.
Yuta Watanabe-Sophomore slump or not, meet GW’s X-Factor night in, night out.
Joe McDonald-Heady, steady and a big shot maker.
4. Cavanaugh has been a huge addition to GW’s team this year, describe his game and the impact he’s made on the roster in general.
The numbers don’t lie. The team leader in scoring and field goal percentage carries a huge target on his back against opponents. But here’s his biggest impact: he takes post pressure away from Larsen, and said pressure was a big reason GW faltered down the A10 stretch last season. When buckets inside can be spoken for, then the perimeter players (McDonald, Garino, et al.) can all contribute.
5. What’s GW’s biggest strength, and weakness as a team?
GW can rebound up and down that lineup (McDonald as a point guard averages nearly six rebounds a game!), and it gives them life for second chance opportunities. But offensively, the team can get really passive. Stagnant ball movement, an inability to get the ball inside, and killing the shot clock will really hurt them.
6. How can Bonaventure beat the Colonials on Saturday? What do they have to do?
Bona will need to get one of the bigs in foul trouble. Their frontcourt isn’t so deep, and even though GW can go small, FORCING them to do so early will disrupt their offensive flow. The Bonnies can also take advantage of the heavy help defense (which comes and goes) and get some open threes.
7. Give me your prediction for how the top four of the league shakes out when all is said and done…
3. St. Joe’s
4. GW/St. Bona (tied)
8. GW has two really good seniors in Garino and Larsen. Is this a win-now-or-bust type of season for them? What do you expect them to do when all is said and done (in terms of win league, conference finals, win an NCAA game, etc?
This is a tourney or bust team for sure. That said, even with the three seniors, there’s enough in the tank next year to contend to dance again. GW hasn’t been to the tourney in consecutive years since the mid-2000s…but the conversation’s moot if they don’t make it this year. Getting to the second round this year is an achievable goal.
9. Finally, give us your breakdown of the game Saturday (briefly) and a prediction.
Honestly? I’m copping out. Winning at the Reilly Center is extremely difficult, but GW just braved the Seigel Center last week where they won for the first time in program history. Posley and Wright can really take over for Bona, and they’re going to get theirs.
Better to let the game speak for itself.